List of premiers of British Columbia

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Christy Clark is the current Premier of British Columbia

The Premier of British Columbia is the First Minister for the Canadian province of British Columbia. The province was a British crown colony governed by the Governors of British Columbia[1] before joining Canadian Confederation in 1871.[2] Since then, it has had a unicameral Westminster-style parliamentary government, in which the premier is the leader of the party that controls the most seats in the legislative assembly. The premier is British Columbia's head of government, and the Queen of Canada is its head of state and is represented by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The premier picks a cabinet from the elected members to form the Executive Council of British Columbia and presides over that body.[3]

Members are first elected to the legislature during general elections. General elections must be conducted every four years from the date of the last election. An election may also take place if the governing party loses the confidence of the legislature by the defeat of a supply bill or tabling of a no-confidence motion.[3]

Before 1903, British Columbia did not use a party system; instead, Premiers of British Columbia had no official party affiliation and were chosen by elected members of the legislative assembly from among themselves. Candidates ran as "Government", "Opposition", "Independent", or in formulations such as "Opposition independent", indicating their respective positions to the incumbent regime.

British Columbia has had 34 individuals serve as premier since joining Confederation, of which 14 individuals had no party affiliation, three were Conservatives, eight were Liberals, four were Socreds, and five were New Democrats. The first premier was John Foster McCreight, who was inaugurated in 1871. Joseph Martin spent the shortest time in office, at 106 days. At over twenty years, W. A. C. Bennett spent the longest time in office, and is the only premier to serve in more than four parliaments. The incumbent premier is Christy Clark, who was sworn in on March 14, 2011.

Premiers of British Columbia[edit]

      No party affiliation       British Columbia Conservative Party       British Columbia Liberal Party       British Columbia Social Credit Party       British Columbia New Democratic Party

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
District
Term of office Electoral mandates (Assembly) Political party


1
McCreight.JPG
John Foster McCreight
(1827–1913)
MLA for Victoria City
14 November 1871

23 December 1872
no party affiliation


2
Amor de Cosmos 2a.png
Amor De Cosmos
(1825–1897)
MLA for Victoria
23 December 1872

9 February 1874
no party affiliation


3
(1 of 2)
George Anthony Walkem.jpg
George Anthony Walkem
(1834–1908)
MLA for Cariboo
11 February 1874

29 January 1876
no party affiliation


4
Andrew Charles Elliott.jpg
Andrew Charles Elliott
(1829–1889)
MLA for Victoria City
1 February 1876

25 June 1878
no party affiliation


5
(2 of 2)
George Anthony Walkem.jpg
George Anthony Walkem
(1834–1908)
MLA for Cariboo
25 June 1878

6 June 1882
no party affiliation


6
Beaven r.jpg
Robert Beaven
(1836–1920)
MLA for Victoria City
13 June 1882

29 January 1883
no party affiliation


7
Smithe.jpg
William Smithe
(1842–1887)
MLA for Cowichan
29 January 1883

28 March 1887
no party affiliation


died in office
8
Alexander Edmund Batson Davie.png
Alexander Edmund Batson Davie
(1847–1889)
MLA for Lillooet
1 April 1887

1 August 1889
no party affiliation


died in office
9
John Robson.jpg
John Robson
(1824–1892)
MLA for New Westminster (until 1890)
MLA for Cariboo (from 1890)
2 August 1889

29 June 1892
no party affiliation


In the 1890 election he also won the seat in the riding of Westminster, but turned it down. died in office
10
Theodore Davie.jpg
Theodore Davie
(1852–1898)
MLA for Cowichan-Alberni
2 July 1892

2 March 1895
no party affiliation


11
John Herbert Turner.png
John Herbert Turner
(1834–1923)
MLA for Victoria City
4 March 1895

8 August 1898
no party affiliation


12
Charles Semlin.png
Charles Augustus Semlin
(1836–1927)
MLA for Yale-West
15 August 1898

27 February 1900
no party affiliation


13
Joseph Martin.png
Joseph Martin
(1852–1923)
MLA for Vancouver City
28 February 1900

14 June 1900
no party affiliation


Immediately lost a vote of non-confidence 28-1 upon being appointed, but formed a cabinet and governed for another three months anyway.
14
James Dunsmuir.jpg
James Dunsmuir
(1851–1920)
MLA for South Nanaimo
15 June 1900

21 November 1902
no party affiliation


15
Edward Gawler Prior.jpg
Edward Gawler Prior
(1853–1920)
MLA for Victoria City
21 November 1902

1 June 1903
 (9th Parliament)
no party affiliation


16
Richard McBride.jpg
Richard McBride
(1870–1917)
MLA for Westminster-Dewdney (until 1903)
MLA for Dewdney (1903-1907)
MLA for Victoria City (from 1907)
1 June 1903

15 December 1915
 (9th Parliament)
Conservative Party
Named leader in 1903


In the 1907 election he also won the seat in the riding of Dewdney, but turned it down. In the 1909 election he also won the seat in the riding of Yale, but turned it down.
17
William John Bowser.jpg
William John Bowser
(1867–1933)
MLA for Vancouver City
15 December 1915

23 November 1916
 (13th Parliament)
Conservative Party
Named leader in 1915


18
Harlan Carey Brewster.jpg
Harlan Carey Brewster
(1870–1918)
MLA for Victoria City
23 November 1916

1 March 1918
Liberal Party
Named leader in 1912


In the 1916 election he also won the seat in the riding of Alberni, but turned it down. died in office
19
JohnOliver.jpg
John Oliver
(1856–1927)
MLA for Dewdney (until 1920)
MLA for Victoria City (1920-1924)
MLA for Nelson (from 1924)
6 March 1918

17 August 1927
Liberal Party
Named leader in 1918


In the 1920 election he also won the seat in the riding of Delta, but turned it down. died in office
20
No image.svg
John Duncan MacLean
(1873–1948)
MLA for Yale
20 August 1927

20 August 1928
Liberal Party
Named leader in 1927


21
Simon Fraser Tolmie.png
Simon Fraser Tolmie
(1867–1937)
MLA for Saanich
21 August 1928

15 November 1933
Conservative Party
Named leader in 1926


22
Thomas Dufferin Pattullo.jpg
Thomas Dufferin Pattullo
(1873–1956)
MLA for Prince Rupert
15 November 1933

9 December 1941
Liberal Party
Named leader in 1929


23
No image.svg
John Hart
(1879–1957)
MLA for Victoria City
9 December 1941

29 December 1947
Liberal Party (Coalition)
Named leader in 1941


24
Byron Johnson.jpg
Boss Johnson
(1890–1964)
MLA for New Westminster
29 December 1947

1 August 1952
Liberal Party (Coalition)
Named leader in 1947


25
No image.svg
W. A. C. Bennett
(1900–1979)
MLA for South Okanagan
1 August 1952

15 September 1972
Social Credit Party


26
No image.svg
Dave Barrett
(b. 1930)
MLA for Coquitlam
15 September 1972

22 December 1975
New Democratic Party
Named leader in 1970


27
No image.svg
Bill Bennett
(1932–2015)
MLA for South Okanagan (until 1979)
MLA for Okanagan South (from 1979)
22 December 1975

6 August 1986
Social Credit Party
Named leader in 1973


28
No image.svg
Bill Vander Zalm
(b. 1934)
MLA for Richmond
6 August 1986

2 April 1991
Social Credit Party
Named leader in 1986


29
No image.svg
Rita Johnston
(b. 1935)
MLA for Surrey-Newton
2 April 1991

5 November 1991
Social Credit Party
Named leader in 1991


30
Mike Harcourt.jpg
Mike Harcourt
(b. 1943)
MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
5 November 1991

22 February 1996
New Democratic Party
Named leader in 1987


31
Glen Clark 2011 NDP convention crop.jpg
Glen Clark
(b. 1957)
MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway
22 February 1996

25 August 1999
New Democratic Party
Named leader in 1996


32
No image.svg
Dan Miller
(b. 1944)
MLA for North Coast
25 August 1999

24 February 2000
New Democratic Party
Named leader in 1999 (interim)


33
Ujjal Dosanjh2011.JPG
Ujjal Dosanjh
(b. 1947)
MLA for Vancouver-Kensington
24 February 2000

5 June 2001
New Democratic Party
Named leader in 2000


34
Gordon Campbell.jpg
Gordon Campbell
(b. 1948)
MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey
5 June 2001

14 March 2011
Liberal Party
Named leader in 1993


35
Christy Clark.jpg
Christy Clark
(b. 1965)
MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey (until 2013)
MLA for Westside-Kelowna (from 2013)
14 March 2011

Liberal Party
Named leader in 2011


Min. Minority government
Co. Coalition government

Timeline of British Columbia Premiers[edit]

Christy Clark Gordon Campbell Ujjal Dosanjh Daniel Miller (Canadian politician) Glen Clark Mike Harcourt Rita Johnston Bill Vander Zalm William Richards Bennett Dave Barrett William Andrew Cecil Bennett Byron Ingemar Johnson John Hart Thomas Dufferin Pattullo Simon Fraser Tolmie John Duncan MacLean John Oliver Harlan Carey Brewster William John Bowser Richard McBride Edward Gawler Prior James Dunsmuir Joseph Martin (Canadian politician) Charles Augustus Semlin John Herbert Turner Theodore Davie John Robson Alexander Edmund Batson Davie William Smithe Robert Beaven George Anthony Walkem Andrew Charles Elliott George Anthony Walkem Amor De Cosmos John Foster McCreight

Living former premiers[edit]

As of December 2015, eight former premiers are alive, the oldest being Dave Barrett (1972–1975, born 1930). The most recent former premier to die was Bill Bennett (1975–1986), on December 3, 2015.

Name Term Date of birth
Dave Barrett 1972–1975 (1930-10-02) October 2, 1930 (age 85)
Bill Vander Zalm 1986–1991 (1934-05-29) May 29, 1934 (age 81)
Rita Johnston 1991 (1935-04-22) April 22, 1935 (age 80)
Mike Harcourt 1991–1996 (1943-01-06) January 6, 1943 (age 73)
Glen Clark 1996–1999 (1957-11-22) November 22, 1957 (age 58)
Dan Miller 1999–2000 (1944-12-24) December 24, 1944 (age 71)
Ujjal Dosanjh 2000–2001 (1947-09-09) September 9, 1947 (age 68)
Gordon Campbell 2001–2011 (1948-01-12) January 12, 1948 (age 68)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "History and Heritage of British Columbia". BritishColumbia.com. Shangaan Webservices. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "British Columbia – Canadian Confederation". Library and Archives Canada. 9 August 2006. Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "The Office of the Lieutenant-Governor and the Legislature – Province of British Columbia". Province of British Columbia. Retrieved 5 November 2008.